Havlat ‘getting closer and closer,’ could return for Sharks in Game 3

Sounds as though San Jose could be getting Martin Havlat back in the lineup on Saturday when the Sharks host the Kings in Game 3 of their Western Conference semifinal.

“Getting better. We’ll see how it goes [Saturday] morning,” Havlat told CSN Bay Area of his lower-body injury. “We’ll see. Like I said, we’ll see how it feels tomorrow.

“It’s getting closer and closer.”

Havlat, 32, had eight goals and 10 assists in 40 games with the Sharks this year, averaging nearly 16 minutes per game.

He was injured during Game 1 of the Vancouver series,but has since resumed skating with the team.

It remains something of a mystery as to what Havlat’s injury is — all he would say is that it didn’t occur when Canucks defenseman Kevin Bieksa jabbed him between the legs.

Sharks head coach Todd McLellan said he was also unsure as to Havlat’s status.

“That’s Marty, mother nature and the trainer’s decision,” he explained. “I can’t speed any of those up as a coach. I hope that one day soon that he comes knocking on my door and tells me that he’s ready to go, because we could sure use him.”

The Sharks are currently without forwards Raffi Torres (suspended) and Adam Burish (broken hand) for this series and could use Havlat’s presence up front.

Burish confirmed to CSN that he broke his hand while blocking a shot in Game 4 against Vancouver. He was ruled out by the team for the entire second round, but claimed his goal is to return at some point against the Kings.

Video: Mike Fisher ends Nashville’s nasty goal drought

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No, the Nashville Predators did not forget how to score goals … or at least they were lifted from that amnesia on Wednesday.

Mike Fisher lifted the curse 13:52 into the first period of tonight’s game against the Buffalo Sabres. You can watch that rare beast in the video above.

They had been shut out for three straight games and pretty close to four in pure game time.

On this subject, PHT’s Jason Brough asked Predators GM David Poile if he was considering moving a defenseman to improve in another area earlier today.

Struggling Sabre Tyler Ennis out with upper-body injury

Tyler Ennis, James Wisniewski
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Tyler Ennis can probably relate with the Buffalo Sabres’ opponent on Wednesday, as he’s struggling almost as much as the Nashville Predators.

Perhaps some of that has to do with health?

Whether that’s the case or not, Ennis is out for the Sabres tonight, as the team announced that he’s dealing with an upper-body injury.

The Buffalo News discussed Ennis’ struggles in this article.

“I’d say he’s pressing too much. You can’t make those plays in every situation and in every point you touch the puck,” Dan Bylsma said to the Buffalo News. “ … He’s just got to simplify his game. He is a special player who can make those plays, but he can’t be trying to do it every time he touches the puck.”

He’ll need to wait a while to start getting things together, anyway.

WATCH LIVE: Wednesday Night Rivalry (Flyers-Islanders; Blackhawks-Sharks)

Ryan White, Matt Martin
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You can check out tonight’s Wednesday Night Rivalry doubleheader on NBCSN, and you can also stream them online.

Here are the handy links for the two contests.

First, the New York Islanders host the Philadelphia Flyers.


After that, the Chicago Blackhawks visit the San Jose Sharks.


Braun out with upper-body injury; Zubrus to make Sharks debut

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The San Jose Sharks will be missing a top-4 defenseman tonight when they host the defending champs from Chicago.

Justin Braun has an upper-body injury. His status is considered day-to-day.

“Brauny has been one of our unsung heroes here through the first quarter of the season,” coach Peter DeBoer told CSN Bay Area. “He’s played some outstanding hockey. So, we’re going to miss him, but it’s a great opportunity for Mueller and Tennyson and one of these guys to establish themselves. It’s a great opportunity for us to reward Dillon for how well he’s played.”

Against the Blackhawks, Brenden Dillon will take Braun’s spot on the top pairing alongside Marc-Edouard Vlasic; Paul Martin and Brent Burns will stay together on the second pairing; and 20-year-old Mirco Mueller will skate with Matt Tennyson.

Mueller has played just four games for the Sharks this season. In his last game, Thursday in Philadelphia, he received only 9:13 of ice time.

Also tonight, new Shark forward Dainius Zubrus is expected to debut on the fourth line.

Related: Sharks sign Zubrus, because DeBoer